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Piedmont rally falls short, Wildcats lose 49-42

Piedmont got off to one of their better starts against the Indians on Friday night, but scored just six total points in the second and third quarters. The hole proved to be too deep and the Wildcats found themselves on the wrong side of the scoreboard against El Reno, 49-42.
The Wildcats started strong on Friday, with four players scoring in the first quarter. Some tough defense helped Piedmont build a 13-9 first quarter lead.
Piedmont started to fall a part in the second quarter by playing what Coach Ryan Wagner called selfish basketball. El Reno took the lead at the 6:57 mark and ran with it. Piedmont committed back-to-back goal tending violations and the Indians were up six points. Piedmont found the bottom of the net with just 1:22 left in the half, but were down 11 by that point. El Reno lead 26-18 at the half.
Things only got worse for Piedmont in the third quarter. The Wildcats only scored one point, a Collin Bricker free throw, as El Reno lead by as many as 16. El Reno only scored 11 points in the third, so the Wildcats weren’t playing poor defense. Piedmont just couldn’t score.
The fourth quarter started out much the same and it seemed like El Reno would run Piedmont out of the gym. Piedmont was down 18 early, but there was still fight left in the Wildcats. An and-one by Cameron Peters put Piedmont down 12 at the 3:57 mark. It was the spark Piedmont needed to make a run. With Bricker, Peters, Conner McFall, Adrion Williams and Christian Foster on the floor the Wildcats made their run. An intense sequence happened with around two minutes left, where Bricker scored a three and then Williams forced a turn over and scored. Instead of Piedmont getting run out the floor, the roof was about to get blown off Collett. Piedmont got within two points, but El Reno answered and quickly found themselves up six with a minute remaining. Jacob Maloney nailed a three with 25 seconds left to give Piedmont a chance. The Indians would hit two of two free throws and Piedmont didn’t get the foul they were looking for on the ensuing three. Another two of two free throw attempt by El Reno and the game was out of reach.
“We were just taking bad shots,” Hunter Kirton said of the middle two quarters. “We weren’t being coachable at all. Everything starts in practice. We have to be going hard, working hard and moving. We need to get more people more touches and get ourselves better shots.”
“(The second and third quarters were) us,” Wagner said. “Bad shot selection and selfish basketball. Once we started moving the ball, we got our shot. In the second and third, El Reno would pass the ball eight or nine times a possession. We would only have one, maybe two passes before someone took a shot. Once we started moving the ball, our offense got better and good offense leads to good defense. El Reno only scored 12 points in the fourth quarter, and that was with us fouling. A lot of stuff hurt us (on Friday) but selfish shot selection was a lot of it.
“We made a lot of progress today. This was the first time we had everyone sell out on effort. Was the execution there? No. Was the decision making there? No. But when the effort is there, you can make progress. Up to this point, I was coaching effort. When they’re giving the effort, you can start coaching the X’s and O’s.”
Piedmont drops to 10-8 on the year with the loss to El Reno.

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